…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead at Corner Hotel, Melbourne, 30 May 2009 – Live Review and Photos

May 31, 2009

Gig/Concert: Trail Of Dead w/ Pets With Pets and My Disco!
Venue: Corner Hotel, Melbourne, Australia
Date: 30 May 2009
Headliners: Trail Of Dead
In one word: Pets!

What a place the Corner is, I mean this in a good way; the place has got a great vibe and really good sound. The bar on the other side has an old pub feel as well and kinda feels like home (UK) for a minute – is this a good or a bad thing?

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead at Corner Hotel, Melbourne - photo by Danny Crombie

Thinking I’m only going to see …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (hereon referred to as TOD) due to my absolutely horrendous time keeping skills I’m more than pleasantly surprised to hear that the first support Pets With Pets has just started playing as I enter the door.

“Pets With Pets will put you into a joy induced coma until you hear what sounds like manic barking over the top of it all.”

Pets with Pets is quite honestly one of the craziest bands I’ve encountered in this vast country (though I’ve still a long way to go). Their music is dreamy, atmospheric and melancholic which will put you into a joy induced coma until you hear what sounds like manic barking over the top of it all. It’s like keyboard music where the notes just shouldn’t go together but they do, at other points the songs break out into a rave frenzy and in others anything goes.

The drumming is more than worthy of a mention here, first of all kudos to the people at the Corner for achieving such a perfect drum sound, so many people can’t get that shit right. Second of all the drummer (who looks like Nick Cave mixed with the Bearded one off of the TV’s The Mighty Boosh – I HATE that show) has a sound that’s a mix between free jazz and rave – yes, I said that.

Members of the audience come forward into the dance-floor divide and begin to shake their tail-feathers to the utterly delicious beats and I find my hips refusing to resist. Sadly for your reading enjoyment I didn’t break into forward rolls, tap dancing, backflips or the Thriller dance like other audience members as my mothering instinct towards my precious camera kicked in.

The band finish up and I find myself parting with my hard-earned (through grovelling) to buy their single on beautiful clear vinyl…I can’t wait to listen to it! It’s bands like Pets With Pets that makes going to gigs so much fun and makes music so fresh and exciting.

Next up is My Disco! who have quite possibly the worst name I’ve heard in a while and sound a bit like Bill Stevenson playing disco beats, Kira’s there too but Greg Ginn’s face melting mind blowing jazz solos are replaced by unimaginative guitar playing. I think I’m turning into a music snob – if it ain’t absolutely insane I’m not interested, my friend Kev seems to live by that rule.

Anyways long story short I give up on ‘em after a few songs and hit the bar to drink cheap lemonade. Half an hour later I find myself in what is literally the smallest photo pit I’ve ever been to, I can hardly fit into it but manage to secure a spot in front of Conrad’s microphone.

The audience members are unreal, before the show starts I get a barrage of abuse shouted towards me from some lanky freak complaining about my presence and body odour, (it ain’t me, I showered before I came!) moaning they’d been waiting since 8 whilst I just waltzed in to the best spot in the house and other bullshit.

First of all may I mention I’m there for three songs…only three songs which really isn’t much at all as we’re all bent down low in front of a big stage. Most of the time it poses no problem to most friendly audience members but these guys have severe attitude problems. Secondly a message to all you uber fans who collect every photo of their beloved band, who takes these photos? US! The guys in the pit for “three songs and no flash”! It’s pretty crap to be in a photo pit getting covered in beer, spit, fag ash and flailing limbs – I’ve had it all and as much as I enjoy seeing bands for free I don’t enjoy getting hurt!

Anyways, those MFs put a dampener on my enjoyment of the rest of the show for me.

Trail Of Dead came on and thoroughly kicked arse with three guitarists, two drum-kits, keyboard and bass. They’re a band that have always existed in the back of my head but I’ve never gotten round to listening to for some reason or other.

Although their music is experimental they have absolutely no sense of pretention about them, they have a vibe of just plain cool and I genuinely enjoyed what I saw of them.

Whilst taking horrendous photos I got lost in a blur of noise and really got into what I was hearing from the weirdo six piece. It took me back to the old days in my local scene in Scotland hearing bands like Small Enclosed Area and Shall. I guess Trail Of Dead essentially originated this new noise music – by new I don’t mean new, more like LA Blues by The Stooges and Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed being old noise music.

Five songs later in the photo pit (HA!) I felt the cold drizzle of beer on my neck and decided it was time to leave seeing as the bouncers left us photographers to our own devices – do they ever pay attention to what the band is playing? The noise behind my head of the audience singing along brought me back to reality and reminded me of the bands I adore. I would be annoyed by a photographer in front of me when I was seeing my very favourite band but manners cost nothing in this world.

I left halfway through a great set through a mix of exhaustion and apathy, I don’t feel too bad now because I got to see quite possibly the best support band you could ever have asked for.

© Danny Crombie

Photos of …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead

Pets With Pets – www.myspace.com/petswithpets
…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – www.trailofdead.com

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